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E-Commerce Security : Weak Links, Best Defenses
Ghosh, Anup K.
Published: January 21, 1998
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Online security investigator and research scientist Anup Ghosh takes a realistic look at the state of security for electronic commerce. He is neither a Pollyanna believing that all is fine, nor a doomsayer predicting catastrophe for
transactions lacking virtual plate armor. In fact, he feels that some levels of security are excessive. But he emphasizes that any security system is only as strong as its weakest point. If you're going to trust your money to online transactions, you
need to know where your weaknesses lie and how to correct them.
To that end, Ghosh discusses real-life security failures, how they occurred, and how recurrences can be prevented. He then takes a systematic look at the areas of risk. One chapter deals
with potential problems in active Web content, such as Java applets, ActiveX controls, and push technology. He examines data protocols to secure transactions with the warning that the data can be vulnerable before and after the secure transmission. The
weaknesses of server hardware and software come under scrutiny as well. Ghosh calls for greater attention to security as software is being developed and looks at what advances are likely to be coming down the road. --Elizabeth Lewis
"This is a very important book . . . mandatory reading for anyone thinking about getting into e-commerce."-Peter G. Neumann Moderator of the Risks Forum and author of Computer Related Risks
The World Wide Web is changing the way
the world engages in business. With this paradigm shift comes uncertainty about how secure e-commerce transactions are over an inherently insecure medium-the Internet. Businesses have learned the hard way that there is no "silver bullet" solution-not
encryption, not firewalls, not even secure protocols. Like a chain, the security of e-commerce is only as strong as its weakest link.
Written by security expert Anup K. Ghosh, E-Commerce Security highlights the weak links and provides best
defenses for individuals and enterprises connected to the Internet. This valuable guide addresses vulnerabilities in four essential components of electronic commerce-the data transport protocol, Web server, Web clients, and the network server operating
* Exposes the dangers of new Internet innovations in today's Web browsers, including push technology and desktop integration with the Internet
* Methodically explains the dangers of active content programs
* Provides a comparison of different secure protocols for e-commerce, including digital cash protocols used in smart cards
* Presents security considerations for
Web servers, online databases, and server-side application software
* Details shortcomings in firewall technology and other host security measures.
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